Why EdReach?

Today is the official launch of EdReach.us, the educational media network, a collaboration by educators from all over the United States.

Why EdReach?

Do we really need another Educational blog? There are so many others out there- aren’t there enough?

Well, that is true, there are a lot of voices out there. So many voices. So many, it seems that it’s getting harder and harder to hear them, harder to cut through the volume and rate of information, harder to even keep up with well-known colleagues, and harder to be heard.

EdReach.us aims to cut through this.

The EdReach Educational Media Network (EdReach.us) aims to gather these voices together, and create one stream of educational news, blogs, commentary, and interactive media that highlights the innovation, highlights the ideas, highlights the cutting-edge best practices that are happening in the world’s schools every day.

There is fabulous and innovative teaching happening in American education, happening all over the world- yet we forget. Lately, these moments seem to get lost under the sea of politics, budgets, and policy. Education news is also in a state of disarray. Go to most news sites and look for the education section- it’s likely you won’t find it. Still. Education isn’t getting the place it deserves in the mainstream media outlets.

There are amazing new tools being used in the classroom every day- gadgets, Web tools, innovative pedagogy. There are companies that are leading the charge with innovative Web tools for teachers. There are devices that are transforming the way teachers teach, and learners learn. There are teachers that do amazing things with students every day. Every day.

EdReach is made up of-  not one person- but a network of educators from all over the United States- field reporters- some hosting podcasts in Connecticut, some contributing from San Diego, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan- from all over the country. And it’s expanding.

So, if you want to know what’s happening in innovative Education, if you want to know what innovative education looks like, if you want to see what education can be like for America’s students and students all over the world- keep following and listening to EdReach.us.

EdReach is here to tell those stories.

Blogger Template Designer Announced

I must first admit that I am a WordPress fanatic.  I did however start my blogging escapades using Blogger, and one of my biggest complaints was the lack of customization. Google has released a Blogger Template Design Tool; something that I think will help get more people excited about using Blogger.  This is especially exciting for Google Apps For Ed.  Why?  Well I do believe that soon we will see Blogger included as one of the standard tools in Google Apps For Ed.

Official Story Here

IAG / IDOE High Ability Conference Poster Session

I am so excited to be able to present my poster session at the Indiana High Ability Conference. The Title of my session is The Connected Classroom: How Google Apps, Blogging, and Web 2.0 Can Transform Your Classroom. If you are interested in getting Google Apps going in your school or district I would be glad to help you along the way!

Slides from the poster session:

The Power Of A PLN Inspires My Elementary Students!

My 4/5 Gifted and Talented students recently published some of their own stories in writing workshop.  They were working collabratively on these stories in their writing circle group.  My students published them via Google Docs and then blogged the link on their individual blogs. 

On Friday the 30th we had a chew and view day.  So as the bubbles blew, and the laughter grew, my students intently read each others stories and had a grand ole time commenting on each others pieces.  As my students were reading I thought to myself (I know thinking on a Friday!), why not tap into my PLN for a little bit of quick inspiration for my students. 

I sent out a Tweet:

The tweet linked up my students most recent post (via a shared feed on Google Reader).  Within minutes I had 15 views of the Bit.ly link (I love the Bit.ly API!).  So I turned on the projector and popped up the Bit.ly screen for my students to see:

Cheers and applause rang out, and the occasional: “we’re famous.”  Needless to say a quick 2 minute Tweet inspired my students that afternoon and amplified their own pride and joy in their writing!  Thanks PLN!  Just think even a click can make a difference!

If you have a minute click this link!  And if you have a few more minutes leave a comment on one of my student’s blogs.

bit.ly/StudentBlogs

My Students Are Blogging!

I am so excited about all the amazing things my students are doing this year. They all now have their own blogs and you can find them at the following addresses; please come comment!

My Classroom Blog
http://www.atkinson45gt.edublogs.org

Student Blogs:
http://www.alia5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.bruce5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.kyle5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.elise5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.emma5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.drew5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.brenden5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.jackson5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.drew5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.ryan5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.jenny5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.hannah5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.evelyn5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.lifan5tme.edublogs.org
http://www.matt4tme.edublogs.org
http://www.michelle4tme.edublogs.org
http://www.zac4tme.edublogs.org
http://www.carlos4tme.edublogs.org
http://www.rishi4tme.edublogs.org
http://www.nikhil4tme.edublogs.org
http://www.alyssa4tme.edublogs.org
http://www.jean4tme.edublogs.org

Dock
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

My New Blog Home

I have been longing for a WordPress blog now for a while and I stumbled upon a tutorial that guided you through registering a free domain and using a free hosting site, that link is here:http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-build-a-self-hosted-wordpress-blog-for-free .  So after much messing around with this and teaching myself how to use WordPress via FTP I have finally done it! 

So I feel like my blog finally has a decent home!